You clean and declutter your home for the real estate open house or house showing, hoping that your house can be sold to someone with a high bid.
Yet the open house security risks might also occur with a constant flow of unidentified visitors coming and go, like the items get stolen during an open house.
So it begs the questions: Do the open house really work to sell your home? What are the potential open house security issues? And what open house safety tips can you take to be more proactive?
In this post, you will get the answer to all these questions above and learn more effective ways to ensure the open house security.
- Does an Open House Really Work
- Be Aware of Open House Security Issues
- Top 10 Must-Know Open House Safety tips
According to the report of National Association of Realtors, a merely 2% of all homes are sold via an open house.
Yes, you are reading it correctly.
And you won't be surprised at this if you have a deep analysis of the visitors who come to the opens houses.
- Nosy neighbors who come simply out of curiosity or seek for houses for their relatives and friends.
- Prospective buyers with keen interests.
- Wandering people seeking for fun on Sundays
- Your competitors wondering what you are doing with your house.
And NOTICE, burglars would also disguise themselves as buyers and tour your home, seeking for opportunities of thefts during or after an open house.
With so many people touring your open house as mentioned above, the most prominent open house security issue during a house showing is thefts and robbery.
KABC reported that more than $150,000 worth of watches, jewelry and electronics are stolen during an open house in Southern California. (Read the news on jewel thieves during an open house.)
And the items stolen during an open house are NOT limited to valuables only, your child's toy and home decorations could also be the targets.
Besides the real estate open house theft, your home may also be damaged or vandalized during house showings by the unsupervised kids or careless visitors.
So the open house security really deserves your extra attention and it is wiser of you tosecure your home with the following open house safety tips.
Read these open house safety tips first to ensure your open house security, if you are going to host an open house or house showing in Las Vegas, Anaheim, Brooklyn, Queens, Valley Stream or other places.
1. Use Security Cameras as Your Guard
Installing security systems for open house is a practical safety tip to track how many people come to your home, and prevent the realtor open house thefts.
If you unfortunately fall into the victim of open house thefts or your home is damaged during house showing, the security cameras can capture the criminals and you will know who is responsible for the home thefts/damage during a house showing (See the news about open house robbery caught on tape).
And to take full advantage of the open house security cameras, where to place the security cameras is also an unignorable aspect.
The entrances and exits of your open house, the locations where your valuable items are hidden are all critical places that should be monitored.
2. Find a Trustworthy Agent/Security Guard or More
Let's face it: not all agents are trustworthy and responsible.
You can find many complaints of real estate agent negligence if you search online. Some realtors may leave your door unlocked after a house showing and some may even steal your items during an open house.
Finding a licensed and reliable agent is a top open house safety tips for sellers like you to guarantee the real estate open house security.
To find a reliable agent and guarantee your real estate open house security, you can get recommendations from friends and family members who have bought or sold their properties recently or call your neighborhood real estate brokerages. (Click here to learn more ways to find a responsible real estate agent.)
If your house has a large area or has more than one floor, you can ask your agent to bring an assistant or find more than one agent for your open house.
It is also a practical way to protect your home during an open house — to hire a security guard for a house viewing if you want double insurance. You could have the guard dressed in plain clothes to keep visitors comfortable and your home safe at the same time.
3. Put Away All Your Valuables, Photos & Prescription Drugs
Most people are not noble enough to resist the great temptations lying before their eyes, especially during an open house where take-away is a cinch without being noticed.
Below are the helpful open house safety tips to increase the real estate open house security.
- Remove anything tempting and portable from plain sight and store them in safes, especially the cash, medicines, jewels, wine, electronics and heirlooms.
- Don't hide anything in your top dresser drawer (a go-to spot for thieves).
- Bills, checks, bank statements, passports and ID cards should be secured in avoidance of identity thefts.
- Put away your family photos that would leak your personal information.
- Make sure you lock all doors except for the primary entrance where visitors will be entering.
- Don't leave your spare keys around your open house because they can be easily nabbed by a potential burglar.
4. Seek Help from Neighbors
If there is a retired person close by or a stay-at-home parent in your neighborhood, asking them to keep tabs on your home is also a practical open house safety tip.
Your neighbors can come to your open house as interested buyers and look out for those people that seem to give the property more than passing interest.
In this way, they can help protect your home during an open house and report any suspected people to the realtors.
5. Insist on Strict Entry Conditions
One of the best ways to protect your home during an open house is to have strict entry conditions.
You can talk with your realtor in advance and ask all visitors to show photo ID to gain entry, as well as offering the agent the usual name and phone number, which will give additional pause to potential thieves or scouts who want to case the house and come back later.
In virtue of this open house safety tip, you will better know how many people enter your home and how to track them if there is a suspicion of theft.
6. Limit Access to Your Home
Limiting the number of the entrances to your home is also an effective open house safety tip to enhance the house showing security.
Make sure you only leave the main entrance open and lock up all the doors before the open house.
In this way, it will help your agent record who's entering or leaving and host a successful open house viewing.
7. Make Sure Your Home Is Insured
Even you're already well prepared for an open house, that doesn't mean you are immune from possible thefts.
So you can employ this proactive open house safety tip to have a homeowner's insurance policy for damage, theft and injury on the insured property.
Remember to record all your valuables (pictures and videos are even better) before the house showing, then you can offer the essential evidence when necessary.
8. Host an Open House In the Daytime
It's also an important open house safety tips to host the house showing during the daytime.
If your agent need to do it after dark, make sure your house are well-lighted and all the curtains or blinds are closed.
9. Take Your Pets Out
If the buyers or agents are attacked by your pet during the house showing, you will take the consequence as the pet owner.
To prevent dog bites and injuries to your pets, it is a feasible open house safety tip to take your pets out during a house showing.
10. Check Your House After an Open House
After you do an open house in Elmont, Fremont, Glendale, Hayward or Staten Island, make sure your agent or you double check all windows and doors. Some thieves would unlock a bedroom window or the doors to access later for a robbery after an open house.
Besides, some careless visitors might forget to turn off the tap in your bathroom or kitchen after they leave. By going through your home after an open house, you can rest assured that your home is safe after the house showing.
While you prepare your home to look its best for an open house or home viewing, don't forget to apply these open house security tips to protect your home. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry. And you are welcomed to leave your views below to share your open house experience with us!